Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

OPTIC TO HIT NERVE; Rising Stayer Has Wetherby Glory in His Sights Lizzie to Kick off Tea Party

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

OPTIC TO HIT NERVE; Rising Stayer Has Wetherby Glory in His Sights Lizzie to Kick off Tea Party

Article excerpt

Byline: GARRY OWEN

KEEP your eyes peeled for Twister's Ballyoptic in the bet365 West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby.

The six-year-old showed fair form in Irish points headlined by an easy win at Kirkistown in March 2015 before keeping on well for fifth over two miles on his bumper debut at Down Royal nine months later.

However, it was the move to Nigel Twiston-Davies' Naunton base which proved to be the making of BALLYOPTIC (2.45).

Taking well to timber, he his new connections with a brace of impressive wins TURN TO PAGE TWO FROM PAGE ONE over 2m4f at Ffos Las and Uttoxeter despite always giving the impression that staying was his game.

A step up to Grade 1 level failed to stem the six-year-old's relentless progress as he needed every yard of the three miles to outpoint class act Bellshill in the Sefton at Aintree in April.

That announced him as a contender for top honours this season and he more than confirmed his well-being by blitzing a decent field in the Silver Trophy at Chepstow last month under old pal Ryan Hatch.

We clearly haven't seen the best of Ballyoptic and he can take the next step on his journey to the World Hurdle in March by seeing off a useful bunch of rivals.

Jockey Hatch said: "He's unbeaten for us and ever since he won his first race at Ffos Las, he has just kept improving. I had a great day on him in Aintree and we were delighted with him at Chepstow the other week.

"Two and a half miles was on the short side for him, but he travelled up well with those horses and showed a really good attitude at the end of the race.

"Hopefully he'll improve for the run, he's done everything we've asked of him so far and we'll give it our best shot."

Malcolm Jefferson is in red hot form and he can bag the novice chase with DOUBLE W'S (1.35).

Pretty useful over hurdles, the six-year-old looked even better over fences when hacking up on his chasing debut at Carlisle and can burn off the opposition from the front once again.

MISS CRICK (2.10) can bowl 'em over for in-form Alan King in the mares' hurdle. Upwardly mobile, the five-year-old put in a career best when hosing up over 2m4f at Worcester last time and can bag some valuable black type dropped back four furlongs. …

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